Advancing Health Equity Grants
Acknowledging that one’s health is impacted by more than individual behaviors and decisions, the Advancing Health Equity (AHE) program seeks to assist community organizations in tackling some of the structural and systemic factors that affect health. Unlike many other initiatives that seek to change health on the individual or community level, grant dollars from the AHE program are used to support projects that address measurable health inequities, identify the social and economic conditions that contribute to these inequities, and develop plans to address and improve these conditions. For instance, AHE grantees may choose to focus on addressing issues and inequities related to safety, housing, transportation, education, systemic racism, or many other social determinants.
In 2016, the Center for Health Equity received 16 applications requesting a total of approximately $2.6 million in response to the request for proposals. From this group, two grantees were selected to split the $350,000 available in funding: Neighborhood Hub and Voices for Racial Justice.
For many African American families living in North Minneapolis, The Neighborhood Hub is a beacon of support. By providing a combination of direct service, educational opportunities, policy initiatives and resource referrals, the Hub is dedicated to helping families become stable, productive and healthy. In securing Advancing Health Equity funds, the Hub will continue to advance these goals and programs by addressing numerous health inequities related to housing, employment and community health supports in three North Minneapolis neighborhoods.
Through developing and promoting the “Extreme Health Makeover” marketing and community based strategy, this innovative program seeks to work with neighbors to identify the inequities that they see in their communities. From there, The Neighborhood Hub will bring together residents, community stakeholders, and representatives from partnering agencies to collectively address how to move forward in creating positive changes in the community and home environments on a policy level.
Voices for Racial Justice
Although Minnesota has a relatively low incarceration rate compared to other states, it has one of the highest relative disparities of incarceration rates among its American Indian and African-American populations as compared to white populations. With funding Advancing Health Equity funds, Voices for Racial Justice plans to target this inequity. Building on their mission to advance racial, cultural, social, and economic justice in Minnesota, the organization will investigate the intersection of incarceration and health in three greater Minnesota prisons.
Using a community-centered approach, Voices for Racial Justice will interview incarcerated individuals, their families, formerly incarcerated individuals, organizational partners, and institutional stakeholders in order to uncover the conditions that contribute to health disparities for incarcerated people. In working "upstream" on the social conditions that cause health inequities, Voices for Racial Justice will then develop an actionable plan to address health inequities within the criminal justice system.